First time riding the rails (2023)

FormerOBS said:

(Video) Riding the Rails: Train Travel Overview

You've received some excellent advice. If you leave your seat to wash up or to visit the dining car or lounge, it's not necessary to take your carry-on luggage with you. The diner is essentially a rolling restaurant. Imagine being in a restaurant where space is at a premium in the first place. Then imagine all the customers having luggage with them. It becomes an obstacle course for both passengers and crew.

Instead, I recommend that you keep real valuables with you, but leave the ordinary items (change of clothes, toiletries, etc.) in the luggage rack. Thievery of these items on long distance trains is VERY, VERY, VERY RARE, so you shouldn't feel worried about that type of incident.

(Video) Electric Rail Bike - 120 mile ride around the Central Coast on Rails and Trails

About 1/2 hour after leaving Washington, you'll probably want to visit the Sightseer Lounge car. At Point of Rocks, you'll see the Potomac River on your left. Then you'll cross the river at Harpers Ferry and run through Martinsburg, West Virginia. When you rejoin the Potomac, it will be on your right side all the way to Cumberland. Then Wills Creek will be on your left to the summit of the Alleghenies at Sand Patch. Coming back east, you should start seeing daylight shortly after Pittsburgh, and you should pass through all this scenery in daylight.

My most important advice: Have fun!

I have one suitcase I am going to have as checked baggage (just clothes) then my laptop bag that'll have my laptop and other electronic accessories for the laptop and my phone (including a somewhat expensive camera). I guess that's something I want to carry around with me? The other carry-on (backpack) will just be an extra pair of clothes, personal hygiene/makeup, and other boring things.

Also once I get to Chicago is there somewhere I can put my carry-on bags or do I have to tug them around with me?

(Video) New Yorker Rides the Seattle Link Light Rail for the First Time in April 2023


What does the phrase riding the rails mean? ›

phrase. Someone who rides the rails travels by train, especially over a long period of time and without buying a ticket.

What does riding the rails mean in 1930? ›

Riding the Rails presents the poignant and little-known story of teen hobos during the 1930s, a time of desperation and bitter hardship. These young itinerant Americans were all searching for a better life; what they found was a mixture of freedom, camaraderie, misery, and loneliness.

What do they call people who ride the rails? ›

During the 1920s people who rode the rails were either seasonal workers or permanent transients called hoboes (or tramps or bums). The hoboes were not in search of jobs; instead they sought a detachment from mainstream American society. They were content to live a life of aimless wandering.

Is riding the rails still a thing? ›

For a variety of reasons the practice is less common in the 21st century, although a community of freight-train riders still exists. The practice was heralded in popular culture of 20th century America with songs such as "King of the Road", and films like Emperor of the North Pole.

When did people ride the rails? ›

Between 1929 and 1941, many boys, and some girls — often disguised as boys — hit the rails, leaving their families and friends behind. In Riding the Rails, Uys reconstructs the stories of former boxcar kids using over 3,000 testimonials from former teen hobos.

What is hobo riding the rails? ›

Riding the Rails during the Great Depression. Riding the Rails. Many people forced off the farm heard about work hundreds of miles away ... or even half a continent away. Often the only way they could get there was by hopping on freight trains, illegally. More than two million men and perhaps 8,000 women became hoboes.

Do hobos still ride the rails? ›

The Original Hobos

Very few people ride the rails full-time nowadays. In an ABC News story from 2000, the president of the National Hobo Association put the figure at 20-30, allowing that another 2,000 might ride part-time or for recreation.

What does rail riding mean urban dictionary? ›

Urban Dictionary defines “Riding Rail” as “To be in the front row of a concert, especially one in which there is a safety barrier in front of the stage”. It seems more and more people are arriving earlier and earlier to shows to get their spot on the coveted rail.

Why did so many people ride the rails during the Depression? ›

In the Depression Era of the 1930s, the unemployed took to the rails to try and find work - crossing vast stretches of land in an open grain car, or huddled inside a box car - hiding from the "bulls", as the railroad police were called.

Who was the most famous hobo? ›

A-No. 1. is arguably the most famous hobo in the United States. His given name is Leon Ray Livingston and he was born in 1872 and he was a lifelong wanderer. He was riding the rails, and stowing away on ships starting at the age of 11 and then he began to write about his journeys.

Is the hobo code real? ›

Yet the Historic Graffiti Society has found no concrete evidence that hobo code existed. Wray says decades-old claims in newspaper articles are unsubstantiated. The symbols said to be used by hoboes are often contradictory.

Was riding the rails legal in the 1930s? ›

Dangers on the Rails. The hazards of riding the rails were many. Of course, hopping on trains without paying was illegal. Those hopping trains faced the possibility of arrest if caught by railroad security guards, commonly referred to as "bulls," or local police.

Why is Rails unpopular? ›

There are a few key areas where Ruby on Rails is criticized: Performance: RoR is not as fast as some of the other frameworks out there. This can be a big issue for large-scale applications. Security: RoR has had several security issues in the past.

Why are there no Cabooses anymore? ›

Until the 1980s, laws in the United States and Canada required all freight trains to have a caboose and a full crew, for safety. Technology eventually advanced to a point where the railroads, in an effort to save money by reducing crew members, stated that cabooses were unnecessary.

What is a hobo jungle? ›

The hobo jungle was a place to rest and repair while on the road outside of the city. Some were more permanent than others, but all shared the element of refuge, an out-of-the-way place where the hobo could eat, sleep, read a newspaper and wash himself before heading out again.

Is train surfing illegal in the US? ›

The most common form of penalty for train surfers is a fine, however, in some countries, such as the United States or Canada, train surfers can be not only fined, but imprisoned too.

How much did a train ticket cost in the 1800s? ›

In 1870 it took approximately seven days and cost as little as $65 for a ticket on the transcontinental line from New York to San Francisco; $136 for first class in a Pullman sleeping car; $110 for second class; and $65 for a space on a third- or “emigrant”-class bench.

What is the difference between a hobo and a tramp? ›

A hobo or bo is simply a migratory laborer; he may take some longish holidays, but sooner or later he returns to work. A tramp never works if it can be avoided; he simply travels.” After their post-Civil War emergence, hoboes and tramps became prominent again during the Great Depression.

What is the point of a caboose? ›

The advent of the caboose provided a place for train crews to cook meals, wash clothes and rest. It became a home away from home for many as the crew's run ended before the train reached its final destination.

What is a railroad bull? ›

Called “bulls,” these unofficially deputized men are hired by various railroad companies to protect trains from the shady characters of the farthest outreaches of the vast American West. These are not law-abiding citizens.

What is hobo short for? ›

Bill Bryson suggests in Made in America (1998) that it could either come from the railroad greeting, "Ho, beau!" or a syllabic abbreviation of "homeward bound". It could also come from the words "homeless boy" or "homeless Bohemian".

What happens if you get caught train hopping? ›

It should elicit a fine of a couple hundred dollars, but it could land you a month (or more) in jail and a fine in the ballpark of $1,000. CLICK HERE for more of Esquire's Guide to Minor Transgressions!

How do you not get caught train hopping? ›

If you want to leave a train during it's motion (for example, to avoid a catching by the police at the station), get to the lowest footrest of car, face forward to direction of movement, than jump to the side off the train and run after a contact with land surface.

What does railing a girl mean? ›

Getting railed, quite literally, means having sex – or, if you prefer to take the cue from Urban Dictionary, it means the act of having wild, wild sex. We've moved past from calling it a bit of Carry On (Picture: Getty) So, making romantic, meaningful love, this is not.

What does Rizz up mean? ›

Rizz is also used as a verb, often in the form rizz up, meaning to charm someone.

Does rail mean skinny? ›

Very slender, as in I do not know why she's dieting; she's thin as a rail already. This simile, which uses rail in the sense of “a narrow bar,” has largely replaced such other versions as thin as a lath or rake, although the latter is still common in Britain. [ Second half of 1800s]

What name was given to homeless men who rode the rails? ›

Residents of the Great Plains area, where the effects of the Depression were intensified by drought and dust storms, simply abandoned their farms and headed for California in hopes of finding the "land of milk and honey." Gangs of unemployed youth, whose families could no longer support them, rode the rails as hobos in ...

Where did the term hobo come from? ›

Others claim it came from the soldiers returning from the Civil War, who were "Homeward Bound." Some suggest it is from the congenial greeting "Hello boy" that changed to "Lo boy" and "Lo bo" and finally to "Ho bo." Others think it came from the word hoosier, meaning a rustic individual, a frontiersman.

What did the railroad sleeping car do? ›

sleeping car, also called sleeper, railroad coach designed for overnight passenger travel.

What is the hobo capital of the US? ›

The town of Britt, Iowa, is known as the hobo capital of the world.

What is the hobo capital of the world? ›

Since 1900 the City of Britt, Iowa has been hosting a National Hobo Convention.

Who was the famous female hobo? ›

Meet Virginia Stopher, 19-Year-Old “Girl Hobo” of the 1920s, Who Left Her Husband to Ride the Rails.

What are the 15 rules to be a hobo? ›

15 Rules From the Hobo Ethical Code of 1889
  • YOU DO YOU. "Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you."
  • GET A JOB. ...
Sep 14, 2015

What was the secret language of the homeless people? ›

By the early 1900s, it's said that there were more than 500,000 hobos in the US. To help each other out in their cross-country travels, these hobos developed a system of pictographs and occasional words and phrases which turned into the 'hobo code.

What is the hobo zip code 11030? ›

“11030” is the HOBO ZIP CODE. You can spell out HOBO by drawing a line between the 1's to make an H and a straight line down the 3 to make a B. This explains what the tattoo is but it doesn't really explain what it means.

When were the first rails laid in the US? ›

The first railroad charter in North America was granted to Stevens in 1815. [4] Grants to others followed, and work soon began on the first operational railroads. Surveying, mapping, and construction started on the Baltimore and Ohio in 1830, and fourteen miles of track were opened before the year ended.

What well known singer became popular after riding the rails? ›

Frail and sickly, Rodgers was forced to abandon his career as a railroad employee at age 24 when he contracted tuberculosis. The stories and melodies Rodgers learned while working the rails served as the basis of his new career.

What is hobo culture? ›

Hoboes Walking the Tracks People referred to as hoboes were common throughout the United States from the 1870s through the 1930s. They were unskilled workers who traveled from place to place looking for work, commonly in railroad building and repair, bridge building and repair, and harvesting and cutting timber.

Why do trains not fall off the Rails? ›

To help the wheels stay on the track their shape is usually slightly conical. This means that the inside of the wheel has a larger circumference than the outside of the wheel. (They also have a flange, or raised edge, on the inner side to prevent the train from falling off the tracks.)

Is Rails still relevant 2023? ›

Ruby on Rails has been a popular web development framework for many years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2023. It has a simple framework, so developers of all skill levels would love it.

Why are Rails not straight? ›

The curved line can play an important role in relieving passenger pressure by high-speed train. If people always follow the straight line, it will be inevitable to encounter the problems in densely populated areas. Trains can't always pass through the city center.

Did a caboose have a toilet? ›

In addition to the conductor's work area, cabooses often had bunks for sleeping, stoves for cooking, and toilets (initially, the straight-dump kind, then later, chemical toilets).

What is the last car of a train called? ›

A caboose is a train car that is usually at the end. If you are pulling up the rear, you could call yourself the caboose. The engine is the first car on a freight train, and the last car is usually the caboose. Besides being last, the other feature of a caboose is its use by the crew.

How many miles per gallon does a locomotive get? ›

Let's take a look back at Union Pacific's history of locomotive use to see how they have developed into today's green powerhouses that can move one ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of fuel.

Are there any real hobos left? ›

But Shorty is only one type of modern American hobo. Hobo culture is alive and well in the United States, but it's a far cry from the sanitized Halloween-costume version most of us are used to — the patched overalls, the charcoal beard and the red-bandana bindle (that's a bundle on a stick).

Can a hobo be a woman? ›

Obviously, the type of work available for women on the road differed significantly from that of men. Female hobos have been noted to cross dress and to pass in order to receive employment (and higher wages) in hard labor, the work on which most male hobos relied (Cresswell 2001).

Why do hobos carry a stick? ›

It's simply a comfortable and cheap way of carrying heavy loads over long distances. Whilst I haven't seen any hobos doing this today, I have seen people doing something similar in Bangladesh. They use a bamboo pole over their shoulder with the goods hanging off ropes at either end.

Where did the term man the rails originate? ›

Manning the rail is a method of saluting (or rendering honors) used by naval vessels. The custom evolved from that of "manning the yards", which dates from the days of sail. On sailing ships, crew stood evenly spaced on all the yards (the spars holding the sails) and gave three cheers to honor distinguished persons.

Why does the Navy call it a goat locker? ›

When the rank of Chief was created in the late 1800's, they were tasked with the care of the livestock and kept the goats in their quarters. Even after goats were no longer used as a food source, they were still kept on board as pets/mascots. So, the Chief's berthing came to be known as the Goat Locker.

What does railing a boy mean? ›

: to revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language.

Are there still train hobos? ›

But Shorty is only one type of modern American hobo. Hobo culture is alive and well in the United States, but it's a far cry from the sanitized Halloween-costume version most of us are used to — the patched overalls, the charcoal beard and the red-bandana bindle (that's a bundle on a stick).

How illegal is train surfing? ›

Train surfing is illegal on most railways in the world, with some exceptions. Many railroad companies usually take a zero tolerance policy to practice of riding on exterior parts of trains, and employ railway police and guards in an attempt to prevent the practice.


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